Glasgow School of Art

“Glasgow School’ is a term used to describe several groups of artists based in Glasgow. The first and most significant of these groups was a loose association of artists active from around 1880 to the turn of the century; there was no formal membership or programme, but the artists involved (who prefered to be known as the Glasgow Boys) were united by a desire to move away from the conservative and parochial values they believed the Royal Scottish Academy in Edinburgh represented. The group’s most well-known members were Sir James Guthrie (1859–1930) and Sir John Lavery. Several of them had lived and worked in France, and they were proponents of outdoor painting. The group’s heydey was gone by 1900, and it did not survive the First World War. Still, it offered a significant spur for Scottish art in the twentieth century, paving the way for the Scottish Colourists. From roughly 1890 through 1910, a slightly later group created a different style of Art Nouveau. Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the architect and designer, was its most significant member.Read More →

Aestheticism Featured Image

Aestheticism describes the European art movement of the late 19th century. It is centred on the doctrine that art exists alone for the sake of its beauty and that it does not have to serve any political, didactic or another purpose.

Aestheticism is diametrically opposite to the moralist belief, the belief that moralism (and everything else) should be the handmaiden of art instead of art (and everything else) being the handmaiden of morality.Read More →

Agitrop

Agitprop art (or the art of agitation) was used to manipulate ideological beliefs, specifically to spread the ideals of Communism in Russia in the period immediately following the 1917 revolution. The term ‘agitprop’ (an abbreviation for agitation propaganda: ‘agitational propaganda’) was first used shortly after the Revolution, and the Communist Party established the Department of Agitation and Propaganda in 1920.Read More →

capitalisation basics

If you have ever read an old newspaper (early nineteenth century) and you look carefully at the old broadsheets.  You will notice that words are capitalised here and there and that the rules of capitalisation, some of which you will learn shortly, seem nonexistent.Read More →

Fractals are intricate geometric structures created when patterns (or pieces of patterns) are altered and duplicated at ever-diminishing scales.  Besides having a tremendously important effect across a range of sciences, fractals make a stunning picture on your tablet. Even simple shapes can quickly grow complicated when they are altered again and again.  A close look can reveal endless variations of the same design theme.Read More →

Surrealism - featured image

Surrealism was one of the most important and subversive movements of the 20th century flourished, especially in the 1920s and 1930s and provided a radical alternative to cubism’s rational and formal qualities. Unlike Dada, from which it emerged in many ways, it emphasised the positive rather than the nihilistic.Read More →

Vitruvian Man - featured image

Anthropometrics is a systematic study of human measurement that was increasingly used by designers dealing with design issues involving human movement in the decades following WWII. Their implementation of a more analytical and methodical approach to design problems had a lot in common with the techniques studied at the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm from the mid-1950s to the 1960s, as well as the Design Methods trend.Read More →

Blue bowl Francois-Émile Deecorchement 925-26

Pâte de Verre (French, “glass paste”) is a material produced by grinding glass into a fine powder, adding a binder to create a paste, and adding a fluxing medium to facilitate melting. The paste is brushed or tamped into a mould, dried, and fused by firing. After annealing, the object is removed from the mould and finished.Read More →

Maiolica tin-glazed earthenware

Maiolica is a tin-glazed earthenware that was produced during the Renaissance in Italy. The name comes from Majorca, the island from which, in the 15th century, a lot of Hispano-Moresque tin-glazed pottery was brought into Italy. The technique of covering with a tin glaze earthenware was similar to that used elsewhere in Europe for delftware and faience.Read More →

Japonisme style of decorative arts

A French term used to describe a variety of European borrowings from Japanese art was Japonisme.

With the opening of trade with Japan following the expedition of the American Commodore Matthew Perry in 1853. The interest in Japanese art in the West, particularly in France, had started to develop. The artist Félix Bracquemond, a friend of the Goncourt brothers, were among the first interpreters of the style.Read More →